Advice & Blog
Join the Game Changers
Posted on November 05, 2015
The theory of shareholder value suggests businesses exist to deliver profit to shareholders. Profit is, of course, a crucial focus for any sustainable organisation - you need it to invest in the future. But it’s not enough anymore.
High performing organisations realise that inspiring and facilitating employees to reach higher goals is crucial for long-term sustainable performance in a world where the balance of power has shifted to customers and unhappy employees quickly jump ship.
These organisations understand that the workplace is now so diverse in terms of skills, values and beliefs that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for empowering and inspiring people. Instead, they discover what makes specific segments of their workforce tick and provide targeted opportunities employees identify with.
There is mounting evidence that employees expect their work to give back to society.
HBR reported that 86% of Generation Y say it’s important their work makes a positive impact on the world. Volunteer programmes, community projects and charitable initiatives are therefore increasingly popular among high performing organisations. Professional services firm EY runs a Corporate Responsibility Fellows programme, where employees use their accountancy skills to help entrepreneurs across the world who can’t access these services. Connecting charitable initiatives to employees’ core skills helps develop emotional connection and can improve fundamental business metrics, such as attrition.
Other employees are driven by mastery and are inspired to aim higher by continuous learning and development. High performing organisations provide broad L&D programmes to develop their people, but crucially they do not limit learning and development to core work skills.
Instead, they understand that development in non-work areas can propel employees to higher performance. Ecommerce company Kount subsidise race fees to encourage healthy lifestyles, which research suggests can improve productivity.
Empowering line managers is another goal that ties high performing organisations together and they provide the budgets and authority for line managers to make a difference. Line managers know what makes their team tick and what inspires them to develop and progress and they are best placed to create an environment for personal growth.